NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 27 – The devolved system of government is now set to start operations following the swearing in of all 47 governors across the country.
In Nairobi, Evans Kidero formally took the oath of office as Nairobi governor at a swearing in ceremony held at Uhuru Park.
“I Evans Odhiambo Kidero do swear that I shall always truly and diligently serve the people and the Republic of Kenya in the office of the governor of Nairobi City County,” he pledged.
Kidero and his deputy Jonathan Mueke pledged to give Nairobi a new facelift within the next 100 days of their tenure in office.
“We can make our young people more competent with market oriented skills and place our infrastructure way above average in the region,” he stated.
Kidero says he will start by changing the fire fighting response time, traffic congestion and uplift education standards in council schools.
“With regard to the economic pillar, what we do in Nairobi can aid in achieving much in the promotion of tourism, building of markets and establishment of industries,” he said.
Mueke echoed his sentiments and stated that more focus will be put on empowering the youth through the provision of funds to start businesses.
“Nairobi is no longer the city in the sun. As we campaigned, we told you that our team is competent and caring enough to not only restore Nairobi’s lost glory but also to take the county to even greater heights. We shall focus on efficient and effective service delivery,” he said.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga who graced the occasion commended the governor for his hard work and pledged to support him in his endeavours.
Transition Authority Chairman Kinuthia Wamwangi stated that counties will be entitled to 15 percent of the national revenue.
“Counties will be entitled to a minimum of 15 percent of national revenue and the Chinese wall is now established between counties and national government finances. This will ensure financial security and independence for counties as provided for under a unified tax system,” he said.
He further urged all Kenyans to familiarise themselves with the working of county governments so that they may benefit fully from them.
“The new two-tier system of government introduces a new threshold for investment through counties and consequently enhances economic growth and services to the citizens.”
In Nakuru, the swearing in of governor-elect Kinuthia Mbugua was held at the Afraha Stadium while William Kabogo of Kiambu was sworn in at Kirigiti stadium.
Mombasa Governor-elect Hassan Joho was sworn-in at the Mombasa Showground while Peter Munya of Meru took his oath at Kinoru stadium.
Joho was sworn in after a case filed by Suleiman Shahbal challenging his election was thrown out by the High Court.
Following his swearing in at the Embu municipal stadium, Governor Martin Wambora outlined seven pillars that will guide development in the county.
He named establishment of value addition factories as key to generation of revenue for the mainly agricultural county.
Wambora said he will ensure the county had a milk processing plant, a cereals depot at Ugweri, a coffee mill, while coffee and tea from the area would be auctioned locally.
He stated that the creation of value addition plants would create jobs for the youth.
After the swearing in, the governors are now expected to appoint members of the County Executive Committees which will be in charge of various departments within the counties.